That Time Mark Zuckerberg And Sean Parker Thought They Hired 50 Cent To Be Facebook's Ad Salesman

kevin colleran 50 centThe picture that confused Sean Parker and Mark Zuckerberg. Kevin Colleran (L) with 50 Cent (R).

Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker must not be too familiar with rap music or its stars.

In April 2005, the pair thought they hired a smooth-looking Yankees fan as their first biz dev person and seventh employee at Facebook, TechCrunch reports. Then, each Facebook user was allowed to post just one photo on Facebook, a profile picture.

Kevin Colleran, who the pair actually hired, had a picture of him with rapper 50 Cent. He had been hired by Tricia Black and he had never met Zuckerberg or Parker in person.

From TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis:

Zuck “looked crestfallen” at the mix up. And the next day, Colleran called up Facebook President Sean Parker and asked, “What’s up?” “Well,” Parker explained, “the meeting went fine. But we both feel a little weird, because we thought you were African-American.”

Kirkpatrick wrote about the mixup in his book, The Facebook Effect:

“Zuckerberg headed to New York to meet with the new ad salesman Tricia Black had hired, Kevin Colleran. Colleran had previously worked in the record industry, and the photo on his profile showed him beaming at a party with his arm around the shoulder of rapper 50 Cent – who was goateed, impudent, and decked in bling. Zuckerberg arranged to meet Colleran in front of the Virgin Megastore on New York’s Union Square. Colleran showed up late and was walking toward Zuckerberg when he got a phone call from his new boss. ‘Where are you?’ Zuckerberg asked. ‘Zuck! I’m right in front of you!’ Colleran replied. Zuckerberg looked crestfallen. He thought Thefacebook’s ad salesman was the tough-looking black guy in the photo.”

Tsotsis says 50 Cent is aware of the confusing first encounter with Colleran. Parker later confessed and 50 Cent joked that he “should have taken the job.”

We reached out to both Kevin Colleran and Sean Parker for more colour about the early Facebook mixup and will update if we hear back.

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